📝 Learn about me
🤩 Read some testimonials
🎥 Watch the “Crunch Time” mini-doc
👨🏻💻 Check out my work history
🏡 54 Sylvan Rd., South Portland, ME 04106
📧 Email: [email protected]
I'm an entrepreneur, PR pro, and startup-community builder based in Portland, Maine 🌊 with nearly 20 years experience in building digital media businesses, journalism, and PR.
I've been a champion for the Maine startup community for nearly a decade, first as a journalist and then as a founder and community organizer. I have a passion for Maine, leveraging technology for good, and creating a vibrant startup community with a give-first mentality.
I spent 10 years as a business journalist and editor in Maine before moving into corporate communications and PR. I've founded two local companies and have also been an early hire at two out-of-state companies, including one where I led PR and investor relations from launch through several private financings before going public in the summer of 2019.
I first became involved in the Maine startup community as a business reporter and editor. Back in the mid 2000s, I helped launch Mainebiz’s first daily newsletter, serving as its editor for several years. Later, I launched the Portland Press Herald's first blog focused on the startup community (went defunct after I left) and got involved with events, such as Maine Startup and Create Week. My role began to be noticed and I was invited to interview Steve Case, founder of AOL, on stage when the Rise of the Rest tour came through Portland, Maine, several years ago.
I think of my early career in business journalism as my own personal altMBA as I spent years doing nothing but interviewing founders, researching market forces, and digging into business models and business failures until I understood them well enough to explain them to a general audience.
The highlight of my journalism career was winning a Gerald Loeb Award, among the highest honors in journalism, for an investigative series I researched and wrote while at the Portland Press Herald that revealed how private equity firms used complex financial deal structures to take advantage of a state tax credit program.
I left journalism to co-found a digital media startup that was going to be the Forbes for the legal cannabis industry. That project was shelved after the company bankrolling the project decided to invest all its resources in a different direction. Having got on well with the CEO of that company, he brought me onboard to lead its corporate communications and investor relations. Over the next four years, I led PR for the company, from startup through the going-public process.
Having gone through that experience and, after leaving the newspaper, realizing Maine's startup community was no longer getting as much media coverage as it deserved, I created Maine Startups Insider to spread the positive stories of Maine founders and highlight that plenty of innovation is happening outside the major tech hubs. In the past five years, I've built MSI into the go-to source for news, information, analysis, and job postings for Maine's startup community. The level of its impact on the community has surprised even me. I still remember the first time someone stopped me at an event to tell me that MSI, and the evidence it provided of a vibrant startup community, played a pivotal role in them feeling comfortable moving to Maine.
I've organized, hosted, and emceed several events, from a film screening for a mini-doc I produced in collaboration with Startup Maine about Maine founders traveling to TechCrunch's Disrupt conference (see more below) to a Clubhouse room about Maine startups. The film screening was attended by roughly 200 people, including Conrad Holloman, who was Techstars' growth director at the time and drove up from Boston to attend.
I left daily journalism to join a nascent venture in the fast-growing legal cannabis industry, partly because I was ready to build rather than just write about others building. I built the PR functions at the company and led communications from launch through the going-public process, gaining valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by entrepreneurs in scaling their ventures. I also led investor relations during early private financings and after the company went public on the Canadian Securities Exchange. After leaving daily journalism, I noticed a void in coverage of Maine startups, so I created a newsletter called Maine Startups Insider to amplify Maine's vibrant startup community. MSI quickly became the go-to source for news, analysis, and job postings in Maine's startup community, positively impacting the perception and growth of our innovation ecosystem. By organizing and hosting events, including a film screening of a mini-doc I produced in collaboration with Startup Maine, I've facilitated meaningful connections and promoted knowledge-sharing among founders, investors, and ecosystem supporters.
I had the privilege of working with Lars Perkins at the Roux Institute Techstars Accelerator, where I led communications and marketing for its inaugural year. During the accelerator, I also worked with founders on their brand positioning, messaging, and media strategy, as well as coordinated with Roux and Northeastern staff (I was a contractor for Techstars) on media opportunities.
That experience led to working with two additional Techstars accelerators, including the Equitech accelerator in Baltimore, Techstars' first focused on founders from underprivileged backgrounds. These experiences provided me with valuable insights into the world of mentor-driven accelerator programs and further solidified my passion for supporting early-stage founders.
Currently, I lead communications and strategic partnerships at Darkblock, a web3 startup building infrastructure and tools at the intersection of blockchain technology and the Creator Economy.
Embracing Brad Feld's thesis that thriving startup communities need to be led by entrepreneurs, I've sought to both give back to the community in terms of using MSI to elevate the profile of our founders and community and act as an onramp for others interested in joining our innovation ecosystem (I usually book at least one call a month with someone outside the state who is considering moving to Portland and wants to learn more about the startup community here).
My experiences in business and various roles in the community, most especially MSI, mean I have a deep network in the Maine startup ecosystem (including founders, investors, and ecosystem supporters) and could hit the ground running in a role designed to further the Roux Institute’s mission to promote economic development and job growth in the state.